Program Partners

Implementing Partners and Technical Advisory Group

The following organizations comprise the USAID-STAR implementation team:
Solimar International

Solimar International is a tourism development firm with the mission of helping businesses, travelers, and destinations develop and connect to sustainable tourism experiences that support environmental conservation, preserve cultural heritage, and enhance the lives of local residents.  Solimar takes an innovative approach to sustainable tourism development, integrating proven business solutions with many years of experience in tourism consulting, destination management, creative services, marketing, and travel operations. Solimar uses a market-oriented approach to provide business solutions through technical assistance, creative marketing, promotional tools, and industry linkages, while improving destination market opportunities and growth.

Academy for Educational Development (AED)
AED works in all the major areas of human development, with a focus on improving education, health, the environment, and economic opportunities for the least advantaged in the U.S. and in developing countries worldwide. AED has capabilities in design and management of complex, large-scale multi-country programs; social marketing and communications for behavior change; environmental education, communication, and interpretation; social mobilization, participation, and advocacy; training and capacity building, and policy formulation and support.
The George Washington University
The International Institute of Tourism Studies at The George Washington University is a world-class educational institution that has been involved with tourism development and education for over 40 years. Situated within the School of Business, GWU’s tourism programs include several professional development programs targeted at building human capacity in a relatively short timeframe. GWU is known for its experience in international tourism development at the national, regional, and local levels, including tourism destination management, event management, hospitality management, conservation, parks and protected areas, and other areas.
US Forest Service
Responsible for managing over 76 million hectares of national forests and grasslands, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is one of the largest land management agencies in the United States. The ultimate objective in managing these lands in the context of these different benefits and uses is to ensure sustainable healthy ecosystems for future generations via multiple-use policy. The Forest Service deals with a broad array of stakeholders, and must balance the need for resource use with competing interests including extraction, biodiversity protection, and local subsistence resource use, among others.
USAID-STAR also anticipates working with the following local partner organizations:
African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)/International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP)
The goal of the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) is to ensure the conservation of mountain gorillas and their regional Afromontane forest habitat in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  Formed in 1991, IGCP comprises three coalition partners: African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The mission of the IGCP is to empower the people of Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC to jointly manage a network of trans-boundary protected areas that contribute significantly to sustainable development and protect the endangered mountain gorillas and their habitat.
The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI)
Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior—research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. JGI’s work in Uganda’s Albertine Rift focuses on four major forested areas that are home to more than 75% of the country’s estimated population of 5000 chimpanzees: Budongo Forest Reserve, Bugoma Forest Reserve, Kalinzu Forest Reserve, and Kibale National Park.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI)
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) was the world’s first international conservation organization, and the pioneering work of its founders in Africa led to the creation of numerous protected areas, including Kruger and Serengeti National Parks. Expanding beyond its African origins, Fauna & Flora International succeeds in giving conservation a voice on the international stage, drawing worldwide attention to the plight of rare and endangered species.
Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA)
UCOTA exists to empower poor communities to improve their lives through community based tourism products (accommodations, guiding, and cultural performances). It spearheads community-based tourism development in Uganda in an attempt to ensure that the benefits of tourism stay as much as possible in the local community. UCOTA supports its members through capacity building and marketing of community tourism products.
Nature Uganda (NU)
NU’s mission is “Promoting the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of nature”. In pursuit of this mission, NU strives to create a nature-friendly public, enhance knowledge of Uganda’s natural history, advocate for policies favorable to the environment, and take action to conserve priority species, sites and habitats for the benefit of people.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
WCS’s mission is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)
UWA is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the State Minister of Tourism to manage 10 National Parks, 12 Wildlife Reserves, and 14 Wildlife Sanctuaries.  It also provides guidance for 5 Community Wildlife Areas.  UWA’s mission is to conserve and sustainably manage the wildlife in and outside protected areas of Uganda in partnership with neighboring communities and stakeholders for the benefit of the people of Uganda and the global community. It is committed to adhere to the international conventions and protocols for which Uganda is a party.
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC)
UWEC is an animal Orphanage that offers sanctuary to young animals found abandoned in protected areas due to the death or poaching of parent animals. UWEC’s mission is to promote and create an understanding among the public of biodiversity conservation in Uganda, with specific emphasis on the young generation.   The UWEC is charged with, Conservation education of the Uganda wildlife, Rescue and rehabilitation of animals, Captive breeding for threatened species, Education of people about animals and Recreation for the Ugandan public
Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry (MTTI)
The mandate of the Ministry is to formulate and support strategies, plans and programs that promote and ensure expansion and diversification of tourism, trade, cooperatives, environmentally sustainable industrialization, appropriate technology, conservation and preservation of other tradable national products, to generate wealth for poverty eradication and benefit the country socially and economically.  The ministry through Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is responsible for marketing Uganda as a tourism destination.
Conservation through Public Health (CTPH)
CTPH is a grassroots, non-profit, non-governmental organization founded by Ugandans to promote conservation and public health by improving primary health care to people and animals in and around protected areas in Africa. The overall vision of CTPH is to prevent and control disease transmission where people, wildlife and livestock meet, while cultivating a winning attitude to conservation and public health in local communities.
Wildlife Clubs of Uganda (WCU)
WCU was established to ensure that Ugandan youth are taught the values of protecting wildlife and to provide them with conservation education and opportunities for participation in conservation actions.  The mission is to ultimately ensure the sustainable use of Uganda’s natural resources and to conserve the country’s wildlife heritage for the present and future generations. WCU is a membership society and its members range from school clubs to individuals, families, private sector organizations and community groups.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:
• Conserving the world’s biological diversity;
• Ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable; and
• Promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
Uganda Tourism Association (UTA)
UTA is the apex body of tourist trade associations within the private sector. The association exists to bring together, establish and maintain a forum for these associations.  Its main objective is to coordinate private sector activities, act as the industry spokesman and strengthen linkages between the private sector and the Ministry of Tourism; Wildlife & Antiquities.
Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO)
AUTO is a tourism trade association representing the interests of the country’s tour operators. Members offer a range of services, which can be broadly divided into the following categories; special interest safaris, air safaris, incentive travel group safaris, custom safaris for individual travelers and camping safaris (luxury & budget). The Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) is a member of the Uganda Tourist Association (UTA).
Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA)
UHOA helps Hotel owners in the country to have common thread in fostering services offered from accommodation to recreation facilities.  UHOA has a vision to be the best provider of hospitable services in the hospitality industry by providing superb standard of accommodation, facilities and services to both domestic and international tourists.  The association’s objectives are: lobbying and advocacy, information collection, analysis and dissemination, promotion and protection of the interests of hotel owners in Uganda.
Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
In addition, USAID-STAR will work through a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of eleven members from: Association of Uganda Tour Operators, Conservation Concepts, East African Business Week Newspaper, Fauna and Flora International, Great Lakes Safaris, International Gorilla Conservation Program, Jane Goodall Institute, Makerere University Environment Department, Nature Uganda, Uganda Community Tourism Association, Uganda Journalist Association for Tourism, Uganda Wildlife Authority, and the USAID Uganda-Environmental Natural Resource Sub-team Center. The USAID-STAR program would like to see the TAG continue the advisory role during implementation but expand their membership to include more individual stakeholders—especially from local communities, central and local government, donor agencies, and the private sector.